Collector Bro: Using Social Media to Tap the Power of Volunteerism
Debapratim Purkayastha & Vijay Kumar Tangirala (IBS Hyderabad)
The case discusses the use of social media by Prasanth Nair as the District Collector of Kozhikode, a district in the southern Indian state of Kerala, to collaborate with citizens in implementing various welfare measures and to subsequently steer the volunteer efforts during the devastating floods in the province in 2018. The case discusses some of the unique aspects of Operation Sulaimani, through which food coupons were distributed to the poor and the needy, such as the avoidance of expenditure on overhead by deploying the existing infrastructure and the complete lack of wastage of food. The case details how Nair effectively employed social media to engage with the citizens of the district. It highlights his use of earthy and humorous language on social media which endeared him to the masses and motivated them to volunteer for various development initiatives. It then describes how he deployed social media in the rescue and rehabilitation of people during the devastating floods in the district in 2018 and the criticism that Nair had to face for using social media as a governance tool.